By Elyana Schosek
Exams are stressful no matter what level of school you’re in. For high schoolers taking college level classes, this is most definitely true.
AP (Advanced Placement) exams started for Springville-Griffith Institute students this past Monday and will continue for the next week. These classes give students the opportunity to earn college credit.
The AP classes offered at SGI include calculus, government, U.S. history, world history, biology, physics, English literature and English language.
In order to help students get ready for their exams, an event called the AP Lock-in takes place the Friday before exams start. This is the third year the lock-in has taken place.
Student council officers including Amy Stabell, Abby Stressinger, Shannon O’Hara and Grace Gernatt do the majority of the planning with the guidance of their advisors, Marianna Krolikowski and Michael Rokitka.
High School Principal James Bialasik said, “Basically we are providing a place and space for the students to congregate and prepare for these important exams.”
Kids can stay after school until 8 p.m. and work with their classmates and teachers to review the material. Each class does something different.
For instance, the AP World class divided into six groups and each group was assigned a timespan to work on. The curriculum is divided into six periodizations from the beginning of time to the present. The teacher of the class, Mrs. Krolikowski, gave each group a sort of outline to follow.
For all of the students in this class, it is their first AP class. They found the lock-in helpful for a few different reasons.
Nathan Cudney said, “It gave me a big overview of what was happening in the 300 years we worked on.”
Annemarie Harrigan added, “It was something that will stick out in my head because it’s not the way we usually work so I’ll remember the information”.
“I was able to review topics from the beginning of the year that I forgot about I definitely feel more confident walking into the exam now that I reviewed the information that escaped my memory,” said Julie Bartoszek.
Sam Gottstine said that that he now feels more confident with the information in the timeframe his group was assigned.
“I think it will be beneficial once we see all of the posters that everybody made so we know the important points for the test,” said Ben Sullivan stated.
Keaton Wnuk said, “It was review which is always a good thing, but it was done in a more fun and engaging manner that made the material slightly more interesting to learn about.”
“I was able to be part of a productive group that covered a variety of subjects that I needed a refresher on,” Olivia Giammarco noted.
Similarly, Blaze Schelble said, “It allowed me to refresh things I had done in the past by summing up a large part of history.”
Each group approached the project slightly different. Nathan, Annemarie, Julie, Olivia, Blaze and myself were one of the six groups.
“We divided our periodization into the different regions and two people worked on a region till they were all done,” Annemarie said.
Olivia added, “We divided the 300 year period into geographical regions, making it easier to grasp conceptually.”
Keaton, Ben and Sam were in another group.
“We divided up the work so that we could get it done in time and if someone was unsure about something, we would all join in and help that person out,” Keaton mentioned.
Sam added, “We gave each person a specific main idea in the period. We researched, planned, and wrote what we found on the final paper.”
It allowed them to study without distractions and reminded them of some of the crucial information they need to know for their exam. This time also allowed them to ask their teacher questions they may not have time to ask otherwise.
Each group had a huge piece of paper to work on. Some groups worked in the hallway and others worked in the library.
“Studying for exams can be stressful but I think this opportunity allows students to do so in a more social atmosphere which seems to help with students’ level of anxiety,” Bialasik said. “Seeing the students Friday afternoon there seemed to be a lot of smiling faces and a feeling of camaraderie.”
During the two weeks of AP exams, students are visibly stressed and the AP Lock-in helped to alleviate some of their anxiety and refresh them on important topics to be covered in their exams.